• Photo: L Barnwell / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Nick Hurski / Shutterstock


Jacksonville is an underrated vacation spot. It offers appealing downtown riverside areas, handsome residential neighborhoods, a thriving arts scene, spectacular beaches, craft breweries, inventive eateries, and, for football fans, the NFL's Jaguars and the NCAA TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Although the city is the largest in area in the continental United States (841 square miles), its Old South flavor remains, especially in the Riverside Avondale Historic District. Here, moss-draped oak trees frame prairie-style bungalows and Tudor Revival mansions, and palm trees, Spanish bayonet, and azaleas dot the landscape.

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